Getting a little closer to the answer using Mactracker:
MacBookPro8,2's bluetooth is "Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR" and the
MacBookPro10,1's bluetooth is "Bluetooth 4.0"
This Wikipededia page doesn't get me any closer to the explicit answer from there, it does sound like it's this major firmware version difference. Since I don't know the actual chip difference and it seems as though Apple's never offered it, I'm going to assume that an upgrade of the firmware on the chip is not possible. This makes me sad.
FWIW, the Bluetooth version on the iPhone 5 is 4.0 and the headphones sound (reliatively) awesome there. I Guessed I'm married to the wire (that I contantly tangle in) at work for good audio until such time as they'll automatically upgrade my laptop.
Oh, horsefeathers. That's not it. It works great on my even much older MacBook Pro at home (MacBookPro4,1 and BT 2.1+EDR).
Does anyone have any clue why it wouldn't connect to work Mac described in the top post above in Stereo?
I do not have the Stereo option available in the pref pane at work, but my workmate does and I do at home: